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What is a garden to you?

Cheshire landscape designer give his thought on what a garden means to us

New Cheshire Garden Designer 

I thought it might be a good idea to not only introduce my new blog but also myself as I’m new to Cheshire.   Having spent 10 years in South Wales designing gardens, my wife and I fancied a change of scenery and took it upon ourselves to sell our home and buy a house in Knutsford after falling in love with the area during our quest to find somewhere new to live. Having done my research I noticed there’s a fair few garden designers to choose from in Cheshire so I thought to myself, ‘how am I going to stand out’?  Which leads me nicely to introducing my blog.  Ok, so it’s a bit of a gimmick to get me up the rankings on google so don’t be surprised if you see me dropping in ‘Cheshire garden designer’ here and there. My blog is also an opportunity to explain a little about who I am and what my design philosophy is.  When I looked into local landscape designers I felt that my portfolio had something else to offer.   So what’s my style?  I’ll always design a garden that the client requests so if you say Japanese garden, that’s what you’ll get.  As with any creative there’s always going to be a slice of the designer within their creation.   Over the years my portfolio has slowly been looking more and more like my kind of garden.  I’m always drawn to more contemporary gardens with strong formal lines and that is often visible in my designs.  I love minimalism but I love bold statements and textures too so contrasts are something I work with a lot.   Ever since I was a young, budding art student I’ve loved modern architecture.  The more I am able to express my style in my designs the more evidential that becomes, as with the natural landscape being a keen hiker and traveller.  So if I have free reign over a garden design you’ll see wild elements of textured planting with stark architectural contrasts, natural materials next to the more contemporary and even industrial.  With that in mind I’m very much a ‘less is more’ kind of person so I don’t over complicate my designs, and on that note I shall not overcomplicate my first blog.   As I develop my blog and as I develop as a garden designer I shall be sharing my thoughts and philosophies as well as anything I might learn along the way, or if there’s something useful I might share that with you too.  ​

Working with Architects and Interior designers to achieve coherent and exiting spaces

Below is an article I've recently written for Landscaping magazine 'Landscape & Urban Design' January/February issue.  See the full article on page 40-41 online  at   In the planning and designing of domestic outdoor spaces the garden designer may often find his or herself low down in the pecking order as the architecture and interior are prioritised naturally.  I’m often told “we don’t know the budget for the garden yet, we’ll see what’s left after we’ve finished the house”! As a garden designer and a fan of architecture, in particular the use of glass in modernist buildings, it excites me to see large windows being installed, bringing the outside-in and ultimately giving your place as a garden designer much more precedence. The relationship between client, architect, interior and garden designer can sometimes be a challenge as we’ll all have our own ideas.  First and foremost we have to please the client whilst staying true to the architecture and working with the interior to create a flowing and coherent space.  Lets not forget adding your own touch as a designer too as the client has invested in you and your style. Continuity and cohesion are words I use a lot during consultations as the success of a space can weigh heavily on them. Clear communication and an understanding of the architect and interior designer’s intensions can only help you fulfil such philosophies.  In any creative industry, borrowing and allowing our surroundings to influence our work is how we progress, it’s what drives new ideas. Approaching garden design whilst working with other professionals should be the same.  Using elements of the architecture and interior in the garden may feel like cheating but it creates a bond and a relationship between the elements and ultimately leads to coherent design. Each project, client and collaboration brings a new experience and keeps us on our toes as new relationships are created and exciting spaces spring up out of the ground.  A recent experience of working with an architect and the interior designer, who happen to be husband and wife and owners of the garden, saw a project take shape in an uncustomary fashion.  Whilst given artistic license on the design which would sit next to a modern renovation, during the build their influence lead to changes which I may not have agreed with at the time. However a creative understanding and a willingness to work with and listen to each other lead to a successful relationship and ultimately a one space that flows from inside-out.  Good design is often not the idea of one, but the collective thoughts and teamwork of everyone involved.      


Robert Hughes Garden Design is an award winning, innovative and creative landscape design practice based in Knutsford, Cheshire.  


I offer a professional garden design service to domestic and commercial clients in Cheshire, Manchester, Liverpool and all around the North West of England.

let's talk

Robert Hughes

7 Ash Grove, Knutsford,

Cheshire, WA16 8BB


01565 621304 

07825 371337


FB: /RobertHughesGardenDesign



Robert Hughes Garden Design

Robert Hughes Garden Design

Robert Hughes Garden Design